Plastic Utopia

by Japan Soul

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Jason Paul / Japan Soul
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Jason Paul / Japan Soul Art-funk, sophisti-pop and new wave rolled into a heady, provocative and deliciously listenable sonic package. Favorite track: Nosara.
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about

Japan Soul’s Plastic Utopia LP, is an artful protest of the times. “The album is mostly a compendium of my thoughts on these troubled times,” says Jason Paul. “The conceptual premise of Plastic Utopia is that we have slipped into an apocalyptic alternate universe caused by a rift in time that began around the year 2000. 911, Iraq, the great recession, accelerated climate catastrophe…it feels like in the 90s we were on course to avoid all these terrible calamities. Things are no longer as they should be. On Plastic Utopia, Japan Soul gives voice to the artistic resistance of this dystopian world. The songs are like landscape vignettes of this moment in history. Time seems to move backwards and forwards and I think our eclectic pop reflects that. The songs are designed to be sticky, cloaked in irresistible hooks, so a listener can simply enjoy, dance and sing along to this album. Maybe it's a bit of a trojan horse, where a deceptively a catchy hook reveals a hard truth. Even for those who don't pay attention to lyrics there's an emotionality, a euphoria, that will make these songs memorable for anyone.”

credits

released April 29, 2014

Plastic Utopia was produced by Jason Paul, David Rozner and DaVe Lipp. Mixing by Craig Levy, David Rozner and Mike Ryan.
Cover painting by Eva Orzech.

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about

Japan Soul Brooklyn, New York

Constantly evolving, Japan Soul draws on styles as diverse as art rock, sophisti-pop, electronic dance music and funk to create euphoric music.

Japan Soul is the music collective of Jason Paul—vocals, guitars, bass, programming, DaVe Lipp—saxophones, bass, guitar and eclectic instruments, Matt McMurry—keys, synth and programming and Tyler Graham—drums and percussion.
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Track Name: War
they try to get you to believe them
deceive and justify their means end
they will manage your confusion
they want you selfish fat and foolin

while you were lookin for the reason
readin thinkin about leavin
you know the grass is always greener
but you stay and cry for freedom

they say defeated
we don't believe it
War

national crisis
the plebeian rises
War

they tried to tell you it was easy
they want you beggin on your knees yeah
dialectic history yeah
take the money kill the people

out of time we need a vision
another lover on a mission
feel another revolution
here on the edge of evolution

they say defeated
we don't believe it
war

national crisis
the plebeian rises
war

oh you're so high
following lights
what can you see?
do you still dream?

they say defeated
we don't believe it
war

national crisis
the plebeian rises
war
Track Name: Plastic Utopia
plastic utopia
social myopia
human touch replaced by avatars
getting older and I'm getting scared

I still want to believe
that you want to be with me
running circles on the wheel of life
we try to be bold
'cause we wanna be free

(yeah, yeah, oh whaa ahh)

I try to listen
but I can't hear what the people say
can we all wake up
from a decade that's been taken away

don't understand why we throw words into the void
we built an ancient civilization
with no artifacts
no artifacts

just want to feel alive
can you roll the windows down?
getting closer almost out of time
future's present lookin at the past

you can't run from the sun
but you hide from everyone
revolution says it's time to go
can you move fast will you change with the scene?

(ooh yeaheaheah, owha aaaah)

plastic utopia
resources running out
where you gonna be when the empire
comes crashin crashin crashin down?

I try to make it
but the system that they made was fake
just want to wake up
in a city with much lower stakes

rise up
rise up...
Rise up

Rise up

Rise up
Track Name: Something's Going On
(you feelin that?)
god forsaken
(just show me your)
human nature
(they talkin bout)
condemnation
(we laughin at)
bad behavior
(listen to the sound)
we can't stop now
(I ain't judgin you)
we're just playin
(keep movin on)
transformation
(no lookin back)
from the beginning
yeah

and on and on and on it don't stop
now the fire's in the air
comet's crash
but the people last
in a day nobody cares
secret pop where the beat don't drop
silent rhythm we obey
people dream of a better scheme
where the night returns to day

yeah

and on and on it goes
the fear the fight the fall
and on and on it goes
the fear the fight
cause something's going on

god forsaken
human nature
condemnation
bad behavior
we can't stop now
we're just playin
transformation
from the beginning

yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on

and on and on it goes
the fear the fight...

yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on
yeah
something's going on

just show me your...
they talkin bout...
we laughin at...
listen to the sound
Track Name: Lalalaland
soldiers
marchin off to war
what are they fighting for?
all the bickering at home?

freedom
reduced to a word
to buy and sell you
for political games

from the fields of Afghanistan
to the halls of the Vatican
they are tryin to control women
tentacles of millenium

abuse of privilege
the communal mirage
they embrace an ancient faith
they afraid of the rational truth

tell me
it's over
lalala, lalalaland
tell me it's over

culture
war across the land
but I don't understand
what's fair and true seems clear

timing
the writing's on the wall
the old guard will fall
incendiary scrawl

disguised as gentlemen
immune to poison
we formed a battalion
of the lost generation

we fought 'till all was lost
they tallied up the cost
fortress of indifference
empire on a house of cards

tell me
it's over
lalala, lalalaland

living in lalalaland
we don't understand
we don't understand
living in lalalaland
of self deception
self deception
living in lalalaland
shake off your chains
shake off your chains

tell me
it's over
lalala, lalalaland
Track Name: Transparent
she likes to party
she likes to run around
she's spinnin stories
she'll tell you up is down

it's transparent
transparent

he's your big brother
he entered willingly
they asked for secrets
he gave them all for free

it's transparent
transparent

if you can read between the lines
you'll find
distortions and lies
architects of our own demise
we're all
ambient spies

she took some photos
they got all around town
she can't erase them
look what her mother found

it's transparent
transparent

he can't believe it
his identity stolen
became a virus
infected everyone

it's transparent
transparent

if you can read between the lines
you'll find
distortions and lies
architects of our own demise
we're all
ambient spies

chasing the ego's vanity
they built
monopolies
pro-POP-aganda of the free
sold you
transparency

we've made enough mistakes
but there ain't no breaks
on this train
we're goin off the rails
a generation fails
transparent boys and girls

transparent boys and girls
Track Name: Fight With Love
some nights I lay awake and contemplate these times
oh these times
the state of things seems so precarious I should fight
well I might

with you by my side we
we can weather these storms
hold on to me tonight
we can push back this tide

we will fight them with love
we will fight them with love

we beg for peace but all they have to give us is war
well no more
they take their orders from spirits in books of old
well no more

but you
you see right through
understanding alone
we realize the dark truth
build a fortress of home

we will fight them with love
we will fight them with love

screaming in a crowded room
nobody turns around
I think I'm falling
heaven won't help you now
when I knew that
she was for me

your inner peace humanist sanctuary of dreams
oh my dreams
fulfill your fantasy your freedom ride with me
to the see

for we
we see right through
we can't help falling in love
we realize the dark truth
understanding alone

we will fight them with love
we will fight them with love
Track Name: Hey Yah Hey
sometimes
it almost feels
like the time away was never real
recall
the mountain trail
with the helicopters overhead

we spent a year dreamin up ways that we could disclocate
when we finally woke up we were gone and in a different place
it was a year when we moved so fast it felt like days
something's changed forever never I say..

Hey Yah Hey (Hey Yah Hey)
Hey Yah Hey (Hey Yah Hey)

rewind
we're right back here
with a fever to depart again
outside
on tiny islands
floating on the current miles and miles

we spent a year dreamin up ways that we could disclocate
when we finally woke up we were gone and in a different place
it was a year when we moved so fast it felt like days
something's changed forever never I say..

Hey Yah Hey (Hey Yah Hey)
Hey Yah Hey (Hey Yah Hey)

make some noises
raise your voice
lift your tired hands
Track Name: Shanghai
brother's and sisters
do you care about each other?
walking across black sand
are you misled do you pretend?

senseless and suffering
in a prison of the mind
looking for promised land
but there's no one
holding your hand

but I cannot pull myself away
ghost of summer's day
no I cannot pull myself away
from this cloudy haze

we stood atop the sand dunes
we promised we would cross the shining sea
we made a play for freedom
like two lovers in a dream

we hide in shanghai
last stand on the island of blinding lights
we hide
in shanghai
give me a reason to stay

alley's of broken dreams
wounded spirits lost in time
underneath new buildings souls forgotten
millions past

reveling through the night
we are bathed in neon lights
running where history creeps
when the ancient city sleeps

but I cannot pull myself away
ghost of summer's day
no I cannot pull myself away
from this cloudy haze

we stood atop the sand dunes
we promised we would cross the shining sea
we made a play for freedom
like two lovers in a dream

we hide in shanghai
last stand on the island of blinding lights
we hide
in shanghai
give me a reason to stay
Track Name: One More Night
young lions of the world
the kings of the absurd
we once worshipped the sun
but fell and couldn't run

we travel in a dream
to end all history
across a broken land
we're back where we began

one more night
one more night
one more night

one more night to come together
nothing ever lasts forever
don't look back as Olympus falls
we cannot repeat the past

against the setting sun
we hide from everyone
the dawning of the age
your thrilling lighted face

swept away in waves
we hope for future days
ideas that move to fast
these dreams are meant to last

one more night
one more night
one more night

one more night to come together
nothing ever lasts forever
don't look back as Olympus falls
we cannot repeat the past

one more night to be with you
we journey to our rendezvous
to find our place

we are running through the night
hand in hand through space and time
we find our way

one more night
one more night
one more night

one more night to come together
nothing ever lasts forever
don't look back as Olympus falls
we cannot repeat the past

we cannot repeat the past
Track Name: Nosara
we were gazing at the starry sky
it was warm beneath the pale moonlight
seeing colors of a distant storm
breeze of tropic comfort song

strangers meet become lovers
chance encounter of the troubadour
sharing knowledge understanding things
years of pleasure golden scenes

Nosara
Nosara

evening tides freshly contoured
in the jungle ocean paradise
under cover of the pure midnight
nature's spirits create dreams

the shore aglow with specs of fire
floating lanterns reach the sky
celebrate endings and new returns
traverse the night with naked eyes

Nosara
Nosara

clearest sunset on the crystal see
the vulture stares over canopy
your dress is so light and your eyes are so bright
two beautiful scenes as we begin the night

Nosara
Nosara...